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About JoshEE

  • Rank
    Track Freak
  • Birthday 08/29/1984

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Austin, TX
  • Track Vehicle
    2001 Miata

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  1. Hi Everyone, So I've been on the forum a while but never been super active, I just bought @Hollywood's 2008 NC Miata, and talking to him he convinced me it'd be a good idea to start a build thread if for no other reason that I could look back on where the car started and see the progression. I've wanted to do a build thread on previous cars but have always been too lazy, so this time I'll try to keep up with it. A little background on me, I'm 35, I grew up in San Antonio and moved to Austin for college and stayed ever since. I just moved down to Dripping Springs (just SW of Austin) recently to get a little more space and quiet, as well as a garage upgrade. My wife and I just had a baby ~5 months ago. I've been into cars since just after collage when I met a group of friends who was into bikes/cars. My vehicle history is fairly long, the more interesting ones are... CB750 (cafe racer project), VFR800, 2X '80's 4Runnrers, '83 Bronco, C5 Z06, C6 LS3, E36 M3, LS1 Swapped FC RX-7, GRM $2009 Challenge car with buddies that had a turbo BP, Fiesta ST (current DD), aaaand I think that's it? I got into track stuff a few years back through a couple of those same friends at a TWS event. I initially started with the C6 but realized quickly I was in way over my head car capability wise and if I wanted to learn how to drive I needed to get into something with a lower performance ceiling and much lower consumable costs so I could spend that money on track time. In order to do that I bought a $4k pristine 2001 NB Miata that had been sitting on some dealer lot in Austin for a while. I enjoyed it stock on the street for about 10 minutes and quickly started buying parts. I kept it reasonable for a while with just some light safety and reliability stuff and some cheap coilovers and wheels/tires and did a few trackdays (mostly with TDE) to get my bearings. Once I got fully hooked I started splurging on parts and went basically for a Supermiata S2'ish build (w/o the power) and gutted the interior, halo ultrashield, XIda's, poly bushings all over (with the sweet bronze sadfab kit), RC1's, etc... At this point I also bought a truck and trailer to be able to push myself further on track, and to be more comfortable in the drives to/from, so I was pretty much all in. The car is still in this setup and is a ton of fun, very responsive, neutral, easy to push to the limit and doesn't bite when you go over etc... But I've basically ruined it for the street and it's track only at this point. It's also fast as hell in the corners but leaves something to be desired in the straights, and if there's not a Miata in similar state of prep in the run group I'm in it's too slow to play with most other cars. To fix that issue I piggybacked with my buddy and bought all of the parts to do an Ecotec swap on the car. I figured this would make the power of the car more closely match it's handling abilities, and let me keep pace with more people during events. Then it occurred to me I have a horrible track record of actually finishing engine swap projects, and it was very unlikely I would be able to finish it in a reasonable timeframe with a new kid here and a likely second one on the way in the next year or two. Since the car is also pretty track focused I also won't be able to enjoy it all that much as full weekend events are not something I can realistically do very often for a while, and even if I join H2R to pop down and do shorter events, I don't want to have to screw around with the truck and trailer every.single.time. And if I'm honest with myself, I just want a new project to do stuff in a way that applies the lessons I've learned from this build. Enter my grand plan to build the exact same car in a very slightly different shape! I've been eye'ing NC's for a while now. There have been some sweet builds from derekyarbrough857, edison_GTI, eflove (let's be real though this one is insane awesome I won't get close to that), Bryan Z. on mt.net, and a ton of building vendor support for the platform (XIDAs!). I like the combination of a more modern and comfortable interior that I can actually fit a good FIA seat in, a better starting point for power (easy 2.5 swap!), better chassis, blah blah blah. It just seems like the time is right at the moment for the NC platform to be able to make something that's a great street/track hybrid for not a ton of money. My plan is to keep the mods reasonable and not go over the edge for the next ~4-5 years so I have something I can enjoy on backroads in the hill country as well as the occasional track outing while kid(s) are still little. I've already got a parts list together and have started to order some stuff, but I'll have to go into that later as it's time to go feed the baby and get to sleep. Thanks for reading if you made it this far and I'll try to be sure to update as I make changes to the car.
  2. I'm curious if you've had a chance yet to get a feel for the Ecotec and how that might affect your opinion here?
  3. JoshEE

    MSRH Lap Times

    Dude it's awesome that you're so excited and driven to improve, and with time you'll get there for sure. In the short term though I would HIGHLY recommend not focusing on lap times and not comparing yourself to your uncle, the others on track, friends in different groups, or what # you're at on the progression scale, etc... I know it's difficult (I am a very analytical and competitive person as well, so it was hard for me) but I would spend the next couple of events you're at focusing on the very basics of watching for flag stations, being aware of traffic, giving/receiving point by's, running the right line, practicing good general track etiquette, having fun!!!, and getting to the point where you do those things naturally and are not having to devote active brainpower to them before trying to actively improve lap times. Once you're able to get into a mental state when that's all automatic start trying to make small improvements one corner at a time and seeing how changing little things makes the car feel different and slowly start pushing to the point where the car is moving around more in corners, learning about hell/toe, trail braking, throttle steering, etc... You'll get more and more comfortable with seat time and will start to play with weight transfer and how that affects the car. As said above just make small incrmental changes as trying to change things too fast can send you over the limits very quickly. This is the point where starting to time laps and look at data is actually worth while, when knowing where small changes can make a difference. Until you're at the point where you can string together 5-6 consistent laps per session you should be focusing on fundamentals. Also, I know you mentioned the Cobra is a ton of fun, but the advice above about learning in slow car is solid. I started with a Corvette and was a few events in when I realized I was in way over my head, and in order to learn how a car feels at the limit I would be going so fast the potential consequences for any mistakes were higher than I was comfortable with. Getting a $5k Miata allowed me to be OK with pushing a little harder and being able to explore limits in a zone I was comfortable operating, and was the best decision I've made yet in this hobby (plus consumables are waaaay cheaper in a small/light car). If your goal is to get fast on track as quickly as possible this is 100% the way to go. If you plan on driving the Cobra on track for the next 30 years, spending a couple of years in a slower car as an investment in your driver education isn't a bad deal. I'm something like 20 events in and still slow as hell but having a lot of fun 😀. You'd be surprised how fun/quick a low hp car is on sticky tires in the corners. Whatever you do have fun out there and be safe!
  4. I've got xidas with 800/500 spring rates on my NB with the 949 race alignment and love the setup, no experience with the fox stuff.
  5. MSRH has a giant paddock area that's not visible in that image above, it's circled in red below. It's typically pretty empty for TDE weekends. I actually like parking over there along with a few buddies as you I like to have my truck/trailer/car all in the same spot and this lets me do that without taking up prime space others could be using. If you want to be social or think you'll be back and forth to the front area a lot a bike or something isn't a bad idea, it's a bit of a trek in the summer heat.
  6. Welcome back (soon) to Miata paradise! Yours are the same reasons (including consumable cost) I sold my c5z and got into a Miata. Good luck on the hunt for a car, Cabowabo's setup looks pretty awesome. Saw this pop up on MT the other day: https://www.miataturbo.net/cars-sale-trade-6/95-miata-seattle-xida-blackbird-fabworx-flyin-miata-etc-101021/
  7. I was hoping you'd reply 😁, I've followed both your swap threads and having direct experience with both companies gives you great insight here. My comment on the Ecotec swap being well proven was from seeing a number of endurance racing teams running this swap as well as a few guys at Harris Hill that seem to have had success with the swap. I completely agree with your comments on the lead time and communication with EcotecMiata, I had issues there as well but fortunately have all the parts in hand at this point. It looks like this new kit includes quite a bit of the stuff you listed as still being needed to be provided, including the Kmiata flyhweel, adapter plate, engine mounts, intake manifold, downpipe, oil pan, timing cover, coolant adapter block. I'm trying to figure out what all parts specific to this swap would be needed including this kit, sounds like engine management, oil pump, crank sensor, engine/accessories, hoses and misc parts like that. I'm not including stuff that's common to either swap like clutch, fuel system, etc... Based on some quick numbers with what I've got into the Ecotec swap so far it seems like the K24Z3 swap will still be significantly more expensive, somewhere around $2-3k more. Based on your experience with both swaps, and that this new K swap allows you to keep the stock subframe to stay eligible for ST4, if you were to start over again which would you personally choose?
  8. Interesting new swap option: https://kmiata.com/blogs/news/game-changer-the-new-k24z3-swap-is-here I've gathered all the parts for an Ecotec swap from EcotecMiata, and I think I'll stay the course since everything is currently in my garage and it seems be a pretty well proven swap at this point, but this seems like a pretty interesting option. I'm curious to hear what others think?
  9. I've owned both a C5 Z06 and a C6 Z51. If I could have one back it'd be the C5. I'd say if it'll be a track toy that you'll drive on the street only occasionally, go C5 Z06 all the way. If you'll be doing trips or DD'ing it, C6. Either way you'll need better seats (or at a minimum these) for sure in addition to the normal track prep stuff. Based on a buddy's recent experience prepping a C5 Z06 to be track ready (granted he did go a little extreme) I'd recommend trying to find one that's already prepped to some extent. The cost to get one setup right can add up pretty fast. As others have stated consumables can be expensive, which is why I now own a miata, but they are a ton of fun. Good luck with your search!
  10. My buddy bought it after i sent him the link, I can't wait to mooch off him
  11. I'm only towing a miata on an open trailer and any of the 1/2 ton V8 trucks will do that with ease, my friend with a vette borrowed my setup and said it towed like there was nothing behind it. I personally went with the most space and capacity for the cheapest price and ended up with a gas Titan XD base model and have been very happy with it. It's surprisingly well equipped, better than the big 3 work trucks, and the non-carpet floor has grown on me so that I actually prefer it in a truck. They have pretty insane discounts from time to time and a 5 year 100k bumper to bumper warranty. I love the piece of mind of being able to get home no matter what, and it's comfy to drive in general. The only thing I dislike about DD it is the size when parking in smaller lots/spaces, there are some places I just can't realistically take it, but that comes up once a month maybe since my wife and I have the ability to use her car. If you keep an eye on cars.com or autotrader and are patient you can easily find a new 1/2 ton V8 for well under 30k, I see XD's around 25-26k regularly. Doing it again I'd get an extended cab instead of the crew cab, modern extended cabs have tons of room, and pass on the ranch hand bumper to buy myself another foot of space back.
  12. JoshEE

    Goals for 2018

    Interior gutted, XIDA's, RC1's, poly bushings, and halo seat installed. Bought and sold an MS since the car is running nicely now and requires minimal maintenance. I'm going to stop upgrading and just enjoy it for a hwile. 7/10 for events, but ran H2R, eagles canyon, and Cresson 1.7 CW for the first time Made it to Red and HPDE4 Only at 1:55.5 at MSRH CCW, wasn't able to make it to that track as much as I would've liked. Lot's of room to improve. Wasn't able to check out the NASA COTA event bc of other obligations I was previously planning on jumping into TT in 2019, but with a baby on the way and moving into a new house looking likely in the next couple of months, that'll be on pause for at least a year. I think 2019's goals will be to join H2R and get out there as time allows, maybe shoot for 1-2 other HPDE events and spectate some stuff.
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